Saturday, 11 April 2015


It turns out that welcome is solidarity. We're glad you're here and we're with you. This whole project called being alive, you finding joy? Well, we're in on that.

I learned early in sobriety that there were two points of view about me - how my close friends saw me, and how I saw myself. I figured it was obvious that I was a fraud, and kind of disgusting. My friends thought I was irresistible, profoundly worthy of trust. I thought at first that one view must be wrong, and I made the most radical decision, for the time being, to believe my friends. I welcomed my loveable self back, with a small party, just the cat, me, and imaginary cups of tea, which I raised with an outstretched pinkie.

This welcoming toward myself took a big adjustment, a rebalancing of my soul. There had been so much energy thrown into performance, achievement, and disguise. I felt I had gotten a permission slip for the great field trip, to the heart of myself, in the protection of a few trusted friends.

Frankly, I was hoping to see more white cliffs and beaches, fewer swamps and shadows, but this was real life, the nature of things, full of both wonder and rot.

As soon as I was able, my friends encouraged me to go back to reclaim the devious, dark part of me. I invited her in: Pull up a chair at the table, hon. We're having soup, tonight.

So our families were train wrecks: we've ruined the earth; kids die all the time. How do we understand that something welcoming remains, sometimes hidden, that we can still trust? When all seems list, a few friends, the view and random last-ditch moments of grace, like Liquid Wrench, will do. Otherwise, I don't know. We don't exactly solve this problem, or much of anything, although one can learn to make a perfect old-fashioned, or blinis.

I've discovered that offering welcome helps a lot, especially to the deeply unpleasant to weird. The offer heals you both. What works best is to target people in the community whom no one else seems to want. Voila: now welcome exists in you.

We want you, as is. Can you believe it? Come on in. Sit down. Let me get you a nice cup of tea. Would you like a lime juice bar?

Anne Lamott, Small Victories

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